Monday, April 9, 2012

REVIEW - Morning Glories: All Will Be Free

Morning Glories: All Will Be Free TPB
(Collects Morning Glories 7-12)
Story: Nick Spencer
Art: Joe Eisma
Colours: Alex Sollazzo
Covers: Rodin Esquejo

Morning Glory Academy is one of the most prestigious prep schools in the country... But behind it's hallowed doors something sinister and deadly lurks. When six brilliant but troubled new students arrive, they find themselves trapped and desperately seeking answers in a place where nothing is what it seems to be!
(From Volume 1)

Collecting the second story arc of the smash series in one volume. Learn (some) of the secrets in the Glories' lives as we delve into their pasts and see how it affects their present. Each chapter focuses on a different Glory while maintaining the narrative and moving the mystery forward. 
(Volume 2)

Once I'd re-read the first volume, I was really quite excited to get my hands on the second, as I felt something had finally clicked for me with this series. This volume hasn't "unclicked" the story, if anything it's hooked me even more.

Each issue focuses on a different character (in order: Zoe, Hunter, Jun, Jade, Ike and Casey), and whilst the plot doesn't advance too much, we instead learn a lot more about the lives of each character and their problems, but it also seeks to clarify some points from the first arc... as well as to complicate matters. It'll bring you closer to some characters, and push you further from others.We begin to see just how severe Jade's problems can be, why Jun seems to constantly change and how sinister Zoe's past was, and that's just to start.

The dialogue in this issue was particularly strong, with characters feeling diverse and natural. For example, Jun speaks differently to Hunter, and Hunter is different again to Ike, and it works really well. The stories themselves seem a little strange at times, and there were moments where I was unsure how certain things happened (or could happen), but it adds to the suspense and the tension more than it takes away from it.
Hey, we've all been there, right?
Eisma's art is pretty consistent with the first volume, and I have to admit it's growing on me. He manages to make characters look attractive, yet normal. Even Zoe, the (supposedly) prettiest  character looks normal enough to be 'real'. I still feel it's a little shaky at times and can move into the slightly odd (Jade's hair in particular seems prone to this), but generally it works well with Spencer's writing. He gets expressions and poses right, and you can tell how a character feels without needing the dialogue to tell you.

Overall, I was impressed with All Will Be Free. Whilst some things are a little clearer, the plot itself seems to be deepening and widening, but that itself is a double-edged sword. I've found it easy to become lost with this series in the past, and I hope Spencer can keep control of the different threads. Once certain things are clarified, I think it'll make much more sense and become a stronger series for it.

Rating: A Slightly Strange Smile

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